The NC House voted 75-42 Monday to allow voters to amend the state’s constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
For 3 1/2 hours, Democrats argued the bill, which came to the floor after less than an hour in committee, was discriminatory and would “unleash a culture war” that would divide the state, and repel potential businesses.
Ten Democrats (Reps. Brisson; Crawford; Floyd; Goodman; Graham; Hill; McGuirt; Owens; Pierce; Spear) sided with Republicans. Republican Reps. Chuck McGrady and Glen Bradley did not cast a vote.
An emotional Rep. Pricey Harrison said this was personal – that the legislation would adversely affect her sister and her four-year-old niece:
“What kind of signal are we sending her? And I don’t know why anyone in this chamber has the right to tell her she can’t marry the love of her life? That is just shameful.”
Rep. Verla Insko told supporters of the amendment they should be ashamed of their push to put the rights of a minority group up for a majority vote:
“I know God accepts them the way they are. God created them the way they are. Jesus Christ accepts them the way they are. Why can’t we?”
If the Senate follows suit, the issue could be on the ballot for the May 2012 primary.
Opponents to the proposed amendment have planned a major rally  outside the General Assembly on Tuesday.
To hear a portion Monday’s emotional House debate, click below: